How many families do you know who all sit around together and watch TV on a single, small screen? There are probably a few of them out there, but the photo you see here no longer represents the viewing habits of the average American family.
Now we have TV’s in every room, bigger screens, cable, DVR’s and media players. More than 8 million people bought an HDTV in 2011 and 39% of homes have new gaming consoles that do more than just play games.
Take a look at how our viewing habits are changing. It’s subtle, but it’s definitely shifting.
Live TV has lost its footing in the last few years but DVR playback has almost doubled. The Video Game line includes time spent using a gaming console to watch videos, that’s holding steady after last year’s increase. Now look at the decline in DVD usage. Looks like video on demand and streaming sites like Hulu are starting to eat into DVD sales. Interesting, and a little sad.
Take two tablets and call me in the morning
Let’s look at that retro family photo again. If you were to bring it into 2012, you’d first have to get dad out of a suit, then you’d have to put a tablet in mom’s hand.
A new survey from GfK MRI’s iPanelTM shows that 63% of tablet owners use them while watching TV.
Even bigger: tablet owners engage the second screen during 41% of their total TV time. What are they doing with those tablets? Glad you asked:
- Posted comments on Facebook, Twitter, a blog or another website regarding a show being watched: 34%
- Visited a network or show’s website, fan-site or app: 25%
- Obtained information related to a show being watched: 21%
- Watched a video clip related to a show being watched: 16%
- Voted in a contest related to a show being watched: 11%
- Live chatted about a show being watched: 9%
Best news for marketers, 28% used their tablet to find information about a product they saw advertised.
The downside to this second screen use is the distraction factor. 36% of those surveyed said they pay more attention to the tablet than the TV. That’s bad news for TV show producers and TV advertisers. But what they lose on the big screen, they more than make up for on the small screen as gamification promotes brand awareness and converts better than a static ad.